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Meditation on Love

The fundamental evil of our time is that we have allowed some people to grow so rich that they have forgotten how to love, they have forgotten why we love, and, in fact, they have forgotten what love is.

What those who have grown so rich that they have forgotten how to love know is greed and what they feel is fear. Where greed goes, fear will always follow. But fear is the opposite of love. A society that is afraid is a society that does not know love.

What are the rich afraid of? Many things, but ultimately it comes down to this: they are afraid that they will one day be treated the way in which they have treated others.

Therefore, because the rich are greedy and afraid, and because they are always vastly outnumbered by those whom they are actively and continually dispossessing, they propagate ideologies, academic disciplines, political economies, religions, ethics, and social imaginaries, designed to teach all of us—no matter how poor we are—to forget the how, why, and what of love and to, instead, know greed and feel afraid.

In this effort, the rich are ever only partially successful. This is so for a few reasons including the following: many among the dispossessed know that life without love is literally unliveable; many among the colonized remember other ways of structuring life together; many among the oppressed see through the lies of the oppressors; and babies, themselves, come into the world loving unconditionally.

This final point suggests that love (and not some kind of neo-Darwinian notion of “selfish genes” or “survival of the fittest”) is what exists at the core of being. To be is to love. Only a sustained assault upon our being, thinking, hearing, seeing, and imagining, from the time we are born until the time we die, can make us forget this.

Given this ontology of love, to forget love is to embrace nihilism. We see this nihilism playing out all the time in the mass destruction of life we are witnessing today, in the merciless laws crafted by the rich, and in all the ways cruelty and ruthlessness are justified and valorized. If we allow some people to grow so wealthy that they forget the how, why, and what of love, the end result is the annihilation of life as we know it.

If to be is to love, then life is impossible in a world without love.

Therefore, if we are to confront the fundamental evil of our time and contribute to the formation of a world where it is easier to be good, the rich must be dispossessed of both their wealth and the fear that accompanies it. In this dispossession lies their liberation. It is an act of love that presents the rich with the possibility of, once again, remembering what love is, why we love, and how to love. It is an act that makes life possible—for them and for all of us.

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